Live blogging from the #MRIA national conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.
Annie Pettit, Chief Research Officer, Peanut Labs
My #MRIA14 presentation in just 5 minutes…
Are you fresh out of school? Full of book knowledge but short on practical knowledge? Then this book is for you!
10 Answers to Contemporary Market Research Questions provides new entrants to market research with a first point of reference in a fast changing industry. In market research, there are some key concepts, ideas, and pieces of knowledge that even the newest researcher (or a researcher new to a topic) should have at their fingertips.
The 10 Answers to Contemporary Market Research Questions aims to present those key items as a set of questions and answers. While its not a manual of how to conduct research, it does provide nuggets of information that will enable new (and sometimes older) researchers to orientate themselves, and avoid walking into too many of the traps that the changing world of market research can create.market research, there are some key concepts, ideas, and pieces of knowledge that even the newest researcher (or a researcher new to a topic) should have at their fingertips.
The Project Team
The book has been created through the voluntary and collaborative efforts of a team of people brought together by ESOMAR to generate this resource as part of the celebration of its 65th year. The project curators are Finn Raben, director general of esomar, Sue York, chief curator of Newmr, and Ray Poynter, Director of Vision Critical University, Vision Critical.
The contributing authors are:
Suz Allen, Sven Arn, Reg Baker, Susan Bell, Pete Cape, Alison Dexter, Dirk Huisman, Nasir Khan, Kathryn Korostoff, Phyllis Macfarlane, Omar Mahmoud, Bernie Malinoff, Katie O’Connor, Stephen Paton, Annie Pettit, Pravin Shekar, Anouk Willems and Tom Wilms.
The editors are Ray Poynter and Sue York.
- Best of ESOMAR Canada 2013: Context, Context, Context (mriablog.wordpress.com)
- Esomar Best of Bulgaria: Brought to you by BAMOR #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Off to Budapest: ESOMAR’s Day of Market Research (facegroup.com)
Reg Baker, SurveyGeek
- First blog post was on randomization
- His company considered him to be a methodologist because he subscribed to POQ, he kept answering the same questions so he wrote the answers in a blog and referred everyone there
- Twitter is how you build blog traffic, We love the retweets of our blogs
- There is a social media bubble of all the people talking about the same things you do, and you meet people around the world only because of your buzz
- Two families of blogs – those sharing research results and those in the commentator category
- Biggest peak of all – sarcasm sells – begged people to not use words like disruptive, holistic, superlatives; next largest blog was how to write a mobile pitch piece about the hyperbole around mobile research
- Conference blogging gets lots of hits, as do posts in a series
- Hardest thing about blogging is you need to do it all the time and it’s hard, you need to do it day in and day out, something people care about want to hear about
- Useful and fun way to share information, it can get you into trouble, say things you wish you didn’t say
Annie Pettit, LoveStats
- If you missed my talk, it was a ten minute psychoanalysis, you missed out 🙂
- Here are two posts I wrote previously…
- 6 reasons why you should start a blog now
- Should you blog at conferences?
Adam Sage, SurveyPost
- Put a viewpoint out there to start a discussion
- Peer reviewed research takes a lot of time
- Focus on twitter, crowdsourcing, infomatics, concepts that are difficult to publish before they are outdated
- Blogs consider the readers to be the jury
- Ripe for innovation, more than just you shouting with a megaphone
Marjorie Connelly, New York Times
- They post blogs and vet blogs that go on many different places on their site
- Website has no print deadline so they can post at any time
- Blogs offer a different voice than the print paper, columnists often have their own blogs and they often use polls to support their arguments – they have no control over those polls
- Often breaking news or incisive posts
- Use live blogging for celebrity events like debut of the ipad, Tony Awards
- Venue for things that wouldn’t be accepted into the paper
- Let authors say more and more deeply than the printed paper
- Can do early releases of data in order to tease a later print version
Jeffrey Henning, ResearchScape
- Started his Vovici blog as part of content marketing, and he needed something to do in the newly formed merged companies
- First blog post was about asking demographic questions, designed only by considering what google wanted
- His new company “ResearchScape” needed the same kind of marketing work
- His ranking of 50 top blogs turned into 50 days of posts
- Realized not a lot of people are sharing results of studies – white space in the blogging world to support more
- Journalists do a poor job of putting research results into context – Jeffrey gives them an F. Researchscape is trying to fix this and Jeffrey gives himself a D for what he’s done so far. He wants to improve to a C+ next year.
- A blog is a place to practice in a small audience, help you become better at explaining methodologies
Casey Tasfaye, FreeRangeResearch
- You don’t know your opinion until you write it down
- Assumptions about what research is changes when you try to write it down
- Place to combine all her data sources – school, friends, talks – and make sense of it. It’s about her trying to figure things out.
- Her blogs explores intersections of different worlds, shares discussions about polls, reports events and conferences, things she reads, research findings
- Her meditation calendar is a good source of blog posts
- Good place for problem solving, discuss them in a public way
- Also talks about digital parenting – how does she deal with her kids and social media
- Tries to have a blog roll, lists of organizations, lists of helpful links, lists of good tools
- Twitter is a good tool for listening, amplifying, and discussion
- very little engagement on the blogs themselves but lots on twitter
- #WJchat is good to listen to
- Twitter is a great way to follow conceptual trends
- A lot of research doesn’t get published and blogging can deal with this
- Minimizing Nonresponse Bias (GREAT session) #AAPOR #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Esomar Best of Bulgaria: Brought to you by BAMOR #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- No spouses were harmed in this experiment #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- poster for AAPOR: Internet and nuclear attitude (nukemedia.wordpress.com)
I don’t know who spilled the beans (probably me) but the news is out. The kind folks at the MRIA asked me if I would like to be the next Editor-In-Chief of the Vue magazine and I just couldn’t resist. Besides, what else do I have to do after my work day as the CRO of Conversition and the VP Research Standards at Research Now!
Over the last ten or so years, I’ve contributed articles to the magazine on numerous occasions, articles ranging from survey data quality to social media research methods, and privacy. And, not too long ago, I was even on the cover of Vue. It only seems right that I give back to the Vue.
Until October, David Hamburg, the current Editor will be mentoring me in hopes that I can do just as good a job as he has done. After that, it will be up to Anne Marie Gabriel, Christian Mueller, Stephen Popiel and myself to pull it all off. I’m told it’s a fabulous team so I can’t wait to get things started.
I’m not sure yet what I plan to bring to the table but I know for sure it’s going to involve finding out what YOU want from the magazine. So, if you have any thoughts about topics you’d like to see covered, or if you’re a budding author and just need someone to give you a chance, now’s your chance. Feel free to get in touch with me or anyone on the team at any time.
We’re here to make sure you love the Vue.
- Never judge a book by it’s sexy cover: Cam Davis #MRIA2012 #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- This is my blog. This is my blog on spam. #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Interpreting Polls: Fiona Isaacson #MRIA2012 #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
Because Conversition has played an ongoing role in the social media space, Iwas asked by the MRIA to speak with them when they addressed the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in Ottawa.
Brendan Wycks, the Executive Director of the MRIA, opened our talk with a discussion of MRIA’s views and desires and I followed with a discussion more focused on social media research. Below is my speech.
Address to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
House of Commons, Ottawa, June 5, 2012
Presented with Brendan Wycks, Executive Director of the MRIA
Thank you everyone for taking the time to meet with us.
As Brendan said, my name is Annie Pettit and I am the Vice President of Research Standards as well as the Chief Research Officer at Conversition, a Canadian market research start-up specializing in social media research. I am an avid social media research tweeter, blogger, and conference presenter, and have recently published a book about social media research which includes a chapter on social media research ethics. Because I am seen as a global thought leader in the social media research space, ESOMAR in Europe, and the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and the Marketing Research Association (MRA), MRIA’s counterparts in the United States, each invited me to be a contributing member of their social media research committees.
To give you a sense of the role that social media research is playing in the market research industry, I’d like to share with you a few results from the Spring 2012 Greenbook Research Industry Trends Report, a survey of over 800 market researchers around the world. Twenty-eight percent of those researchers had used social media research. Fifty-nine percent planned to use social media research in the next year. And more than 10% said that social media research is one of the greatest opportunities for researchers in the future.
Social media research is defined as the application of traditional market research principles to the collection and analysis of social media data for the purpose of better understanding policies and opinions. Just as survey researchers use survey data, social media researchers use social media data. And, we apply the same strict methodological practices to that data. For instance, just as with traditional survey research or focus group research, social media research begins by collecting the right data. Where survey researchers decide which people are best suited to participate in a survey, social media researchers decide which websites or other online forums are best suited for better understanding opinions. We incorporate traditional aspects of market research including sampling, weighting, scaling, norms, and box scores to ensure we measure opinions as accurately as possible.
The main purpose of social media research is to better understand the opinions people have towards policy issues, products and services, celebrities and politicians, social issues and cultural activities. Social media research helps us learn what people like and don’t like so that we can improve the services people receive, create better products, and better serve our constituents.
Most importantly, social media research is not a kinder, gentler word for social media marketing. We do not market products. We do not sell products. We, like our counterparts working in the traditional side of the industry, conduct market research. We abide by and respect the same methodological and ethical guidelines and standards as traditional researchers do.
I’d like to share with you just a few examples of how we abide by those principles.
First of all, we take great care to only collect public data. Some websites, like Facebook and Linkedin, use passwords to completely hide portions of data from outsiders, including Google. If you were to do a Google search, this data would not be found. Social media researchers do not and in fact, cannot collect this data. Many social media research users expect to see more data coming from Facebook but because much of it is programmed as private, very little is actually released. In some cases, we could just create a password and collect the data. But we don’t. We respect this privacy.
Other websites allow anyone to read the entries. Comments left on YouTube, Flickr, or WordPress are written for strangers to read and enjoy, and can be found via a Google search. The purpose of passwords in these cases is to allow readers to follow the conversation among many different people. This is the type of data that social media researchers collect.
In addition, we depersonalize data that is shared in reports, we do not engage with social media users without their consent, and we do not knowingly collect data from minors.
The internet has evolved rapidly in recent years. Ten years ago, it seemed incomprehensible that the average person would share intimate details of their life online. Today, bloggers are regular people who get excited when strangers, not their friends and family, read their thoughts and share them widely. Public forums are open social networks where strangers from around the world find and share opinions with each other. Twitter is a newer entrant into the social media space, and for many people using it, the ultimate goal is to write a tweet that millions of people around the world will read. We have reached a stage where social media has become so engrained in our lives that social media users expect companies to respond to social media comments written in an obscure corners of the internet. People expect their social media complaints to be met with letters of apology.
Right now, Canada is one of the global thought leaders in social media research and I’m proud to represent Canada in that role. But, I worry that if we lose this position, if we are unable to compete in the social media research space because our privacy standards restrict us rather than let us self-regulate, that our clients will have to use social media research conducted in countries with less than high ethical standards. That scares me.
Let us be thought leaders. Let us continue to lead in the social media research space. Let’s demonstrate to other countries that social media research can be conducted in a way that is beneficial to the government and corporate decision-makers who seek actionable insights from it; to research companies; and, most of all, to Canadians.
It is with great honour that I share this interview with you. Dr Seuss is one of my favorite authors and I was thrilled when he contacted me to receive an advance copy of The Listen Lady and subsequently interview me. So without further delay…
Dr. Seuss: Did you write it in a house? Did you write it with a mouse?
Dr. Pettit: Um… ok…. Those are odd questions to start with but yeah, over the last year or so I wrote it in my house, at least most of it. Some parts were written in my backyard or while I was traveling. And in terms of the mouse, I tended to use the scroll pad on my laptop instead. A scroll pad isn’t nearly as efficient or comfortable as a mouse but I made it work.
Dr. Seuss: “Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small! And you very small persons will not have to die. If you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!”
Dr. Pettit: Your encouragement is very much appreciated but I’m really not that small. I’m five foot eleven. Regardless, I did try very hard. There were many occasions when I wasn’t sure ifI could finish writing the book but then I’d talk to some new people who were really curious about how social media research worked and they had nowhere to turn to get information. Those conversations would re-energize me and I’d be eager to get my hands on my laptop again. In no time at all, I’d be back on track.
Dr. Seuss: From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.
Dr. Pettit: You’re too kind! I didn’t intend it to be a humorous novel but I did try to put funny little stories in here and then. Actually, when of the stories are drawn from real situations. Some of my colleagues might recognize a story or two. I know your focus is always the humour but I hope you enjoyed more than just the funny bits. I hope you enjoyed how I turned a social media research textbook into an interesting story, a story that anyone, regardless of their experience with research or baking can learn from.
Dr. Seuss: And that is a story that no one can beat, When I say that I saw it on Mulberry Street.
Dr. Pettit: Ok then… That’s great… I’m not sure what bookstore is on Mulberry Street but I’ll be sure to check it out. Thanks. I think.
The Listen Lady is available on Amazon.com, and on Smashwords if you’d like an ebook version. Like TheListenLady fan page on Facebook to get the latest news on availability and stay tuned for more info! (No, I was not REALLY interviewed by Dr. Seuss. Check the facts jack.)
- Ethical Framework for SMR, Panel
- If It Ain’t Illegal, It’s All Good
- Here’s the Problem with Social Media Research Ethics
- New book! The Listen Lady: A novel and social media research guide baked into one #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Reviews of “The Listen Lady: A novel and social media research guide” #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
I’m a covergirl, a supermodel, a world famous celebrity. On the cover of this month’s issue of Vue, there I am, little ‘ol me, taking center stage.
And now, when I walk down the street, people rush over with pens and paper in hand desperate for an autograph. My phone has been ringing all day and all night from people hoping to hear my voice. Peeping Toms (is that you @TomEwing or perhaps @THEkerrybutt?) have been creeping around my yard trying to catch a glimpse of me through my windows.
But it’s not all coming from strangers. My mom has been quick to join in on the craziness. She’s purchased every available copy of the magazine and is handing them out to every person she’s ever met. She rewrote the Christmas letter that was supposedly finalized 5 months ago. She printed out custom bumper stickers, “My daughter is more famouser than your daughter.”
I think, enough already. Just wait for your copy of the Vue to come in the mail and enjoy the articles. One of them is mine. I hope you like it.
- Here’s the Problem with Social Media Research Ethics #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- What is Proper Research? #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- No way? Way! The LoveStats Book! #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Big Data? Big Deal. #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)